I’m in my 4th year of being a vegetarian and I’ve never been happier and healthier. I’m writing this post in response to the same questions I get over and over again.
In summary, there are 4 reasons why I’m vegetarian: for my conscience, for the animals, for the environment and for my health. For more details on each of these, keep reading.
Just to clarify, technically I am a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian, which means that I don’t eat any animals, but I do eat dairy and eggs.
There are quite a few terms being used to describe limited diets. I often see people getting confused. Here are a few terms worth understanding:
- A vegan does not eat, consume or use any products that are derived from animals. This includes not eating any meat, eggs or dairy and not wearing any animal products like leather or fur.
- A Lacto-vegetarian diet excludes meat, fish, and poultry, as well as eggs and any foods containing eggs, however, dairy is included.
- A pescetarian diet excludes meat and poultry, but includes fish, dairy and eggs.
- A pollo vegetarian diet excludes red meat and fish but includes chicken, dairy and eggs.
- A pesco pollo vegetarian diet excludes red meat but includes chicken, fish, dairy and eggs.
- A semi-vegetarian diet means a person is cutting down on the amount of meat they are eating.
- A week-day vegetarian diet means a person only eats meat on occasional weekends.
1. For my conscience
I reached a point where I had seen, heard and understood things that I could no longer support and participate in. I had seen what happens behind the closed doors of slaughterhouses, I experienced driving through cattle farming area in the USA and I had watched multiple documentaries including “Earthlings (2005)”.
By not eating any animals, I no longer support the factory farming industries that are run primarily to maximise output and profit.
2. For the animals
From a young age, I’ve had a love for animals. Animals are living beings, just like us, that feel pain and love. They deserve to be respected and loved, not mistreated, abused and butchered.
By not eating any animals, I no longer support the mistreatment, abuse and butchering of animals.
3. For the environment
We are depleting and wasting our planet’s resources at an alarming and unsustainable rate. Meat production industries are very energy intensive. Many experts have suggested that switching our diets to a more plant based diet will reduce carbon emissions. Cattle release methane, which is 32x worse than CO2.
By not eating any meat, I reduce my personal carbon footprint.
For more information: The carbon foodprint of 5 diets compared
4. For my health
It’s a fact that factory farms inject their livestock with large amounts of broad-spectrum antibiotics and hormones, which when consumed weakens our immune system and makes us immune to antibiotics (for when we need them to treat bacteria). There has also recently been research linking meat consumption to cancer.
By not eating any meat, I’m enhancing my health by not consuming high cholesterol, antibiotics and hormones.
5. Vegetarian food is delicious
As soon as you explore traditional meat dishes, you will find amazing vegetarian meals.
Answers to FAQs
Here are a few other answers to common questions I get asked.
What do you eat?
Vegetables, grains, mushrooms, legumes, fruit, dairy, eggs, and tofu.
How do you get enough protein?
First define how much protein you really need.
Mushrooms, eggs, quinoa, eggs, dairy, tofu, etc.
Don’t you miss eating meat?
No, not at all. The thought of eating meat has become unpleasant. I’ve also found mushrooms that taste much better than beef.
Here are some documentaries that changed my mindset and actions.
- Earthlings (2005)
- Forks Over Knives (2011)
- The End of The Line (2009)
- Food Inc. (2008)
- Before The Flood (2016)
- The Cove (2009)